and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year..."
-Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are
There you have it. Time travel in one of the most beloved classics in children's literature. Maybe not exactly as the author intended, but in the span of one evening, between the moment Max is sent to his room without supper and the moment he returns to find warm soup waiting for him, he has imagined the fullness of a year's time.
Time plays a crucial role in the story, then. Had time progressed in the ordinary, expected way, Max would have never had the opportunity to learn the fearsome-looking monsters' ways, conquer them, and throw the mother-of-all-rumpuses as king. Most importantly, however, is how crucial the passage of time is to the book's theme. Loneliness can only be fully realized in the absence of true companionship and love. It takes time for life's violent emotions and noise and diversions to quiet long enough for us to listen to the heartbeat of our souls.
And so Max returns as all good time travelers do, having spent a lifetime in mere moments, wise to the lessons of his journey. We should all be so lucky.
Which leads me to a sneak-peek at Wednesday's post:
Do the best movies come from original screenplays or from adapted novels? Bring your favorites and we'll have a discussion rumpus.
How can Hollywood turn a ten sentence classic into a full-length feature film?